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BMW open to e-fuels for cars already on the road


E-fuels or sustainable fuels are a strong topic for debate, but BMW believes that it could work in a renewable future 

BMW’s head of sustainability is open to supporting the development of sustainable e-fuels to reduce the impact of vehicles already on the road.

It’s a task designed to supplement work being done on new cars, but what about the millions of vehicles already on the road using fossil fuel-derived petrol and diesel?

Speaking with Chasing Cars at the launch of Neue Klasse in Munich, BMW’s head of sustainability, Thomas Becker, said that BMW has been clear in its opinions on keeping existing combustion vehicles alive.

HIF Global Porsche sustainable fuel site 3
Companies such as Porsche are working on sustainable fuels

“We have made it clear that we will adapt, engine wise, to whichever requirements, even if you would go for 100 percent e-fuels … but it is a policy decision.

“Electric driving is the most important element of bringing down emissions in new cars, but the fact is that the average age of cars is rising, not shrinking … You have to think about the existing fleet”.

BMW’s Neue Klasse generation will bring plenty of change for the brand, however it’s not just about electric cars.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse 2024 white ƒront three quarter glass roof
BMW’s Neue Klasse vehicles will be both electric and combustion

BMW’s head of design, Domagoj Dukec, told Chasing Cars that Neue Klasse is “it’s not just electric, it’s a story we are telling”. 

The BMW Group is aiming to have half of its vehicles all-electric by 2030.  

Some markets may need to rely upon sustainable fuels 

EV mobility still has a way to go, with charging infrastructure around the world still in need of catching up to the rapid influx of electric vehicles.  

Fueling up with e-fuels might be the answer for countries with low EV uptake

BMW’s chief executive officer Oliver Zipse told Spiegel Mobility that he was unsure whether Europe would have enough charging infrastructure in Europe by 2035.

“And where do people charge all the electric cars?” Zipse said. “There will be no comprehensive infrastructure for electric cars in Europe in 2035. Do you think that in twelve years there will be charging stations in every village in regions like southern Italy?”

But what could happen for the low uptake EV markets?

2023 BMW M3 CS rear 3/4 view driving shot
BMW will still have plenty of ICE cars on the road, even when electric cars are the norm

BMW’s head of sustainability, Thomas Becker, said that for these markets, e-fuels could be the one and only answer. 

“Clearly, in markets where you don’t have an electric infrastructure, it’s [e-fuels] the only thing that can happen”.

In slow-adopting markets such as Australia, South Africa and other parts of Asia Pacific, e-fuels could be the answer. 

But e-fuels are expensive. Porsche’s e-fuels are set to cost roughly $16.00 per litre, which is about $14 more expensive than the current unleaded price in Australia.

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